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Pharmaceutical marketing - ethical and responsible conduct - EY - India

Pharmaceutical marketing: ethical and responsible conduct

A survey on effectiveness of the guidelines

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Around 72% of the respondents indicated that the code of marketing practice will impact the manner in which pharma products are marketed to consumers.

At EY, we have conducted a survey among health care professionals (HCPs) and pharmaceutical companies to understand their perspective of the Medical Council of India’s (MCI) guidelines and the Department of Pharmaceuticals’ (DoP) marketing code. We are pleased to share the findings of our study with you in this report.

We carried out a two-part survey, in which 100 respondents participated.

  • Part one of the survey was conducted among marketing professionals in the pharmaceutical sector on the draft uniform code of marketing practices for the Indian pharmaceutical industry (UCPMP) issued by the DoP, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, Government of India.
  • Part two was conducted among health care professionals on the guidelines issued by the Medical Council of India (MCI) regarding its code of conduct for HCPs in their relationship with pharmaceutical and allied health care companies.

Key findings of the survey

  • Around two-third of the respondents felt that the implementation of the uniform code of pharmaceutical marketing practices (UCPMP) would change the manner in which pharma products are currently marketed in India.
  • According to the survey, more than 50% of the respondents are of the opinion that the UCPMP’s guidelines may lead to manipulation in recording of actual sampling activity.
  • More than 50% of the respondents indicated that the effectiveness of the code will be very low in the absence of legislative support provided to the UCPMP committee.
  • An overwhelming majority of the respondents (90%) felt that pharma companies in India should focus on building a robust internal controls system for ensuring compliance with the UCPMP.
  • Around 72% of the respondents felt that the MCI was not stringently enforcing its medical ethics guidelines.
  • And only 36% of the respondents felt that the MCI’s guidelines would have an impact on the overall sales of pharma companies.

Leaderspeak: “In order to ensure ethical and transparent relationship between the medical practitioners and pharmaceutical companies, the Government will continue to introduce new regulations. It is the responsibility of pharma companies to demonstrate their compliance with these regulations. One of the best ways to achieve this can be by putting in place an effective internal compliance review program (CRP),” suggests
Arpinder Singh,
Partner - Fraud Investigation & Disipute Services,

Download our report for insightful analysis of this survey.
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